The Qur'an: An Introductory Essay by Theodor Nöldeke

Edited by N. A. Newman

Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute
Hatfield, Pennsylvania

The Qur’an: An Introductory Essay by Theodor Nöldeke Edited by N.A.Newman New material copyright 1992 by N.A.Newman

Published by Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute P.O. Box 423, Hatfield, PA USA 19440-0423

ISBN 0-944788-93-9

IBRI publications serve as a forum to stimulate discussion of topics relevant to the Bible and ist interaction with various academic disciplines. Opinions expressed are the author’s own. IBRI’s doctrinal statement may be found in our catalog of publications.

Preface With the publication of his award-winning book Die Geschichte des Qorans in 1860, Theodor Nöldeke (1836-1930) became the foremost German authority in the field of Near Eastern Studies. 1 In the above publication he not only advanced many theories which are still contemporary, but he also set the standard for chronological sura orderings which, scientifically speaking, remains unsurpassed. Arabic was only one of the languages Nöldeke learned, and his genius for Semitic languages can be illustrated from the fact that after mastering Hebrew, he began lecturing in Syriac after only three or four weeks of study. 2 In his long and industrious life, Nöldeke showed the measure of his scholastic stature by retaining the early-acquired recognition of his colleagues and students, which is in turn attested to by the length of his two-volume Festschrift published in 1906. One can hardly go through life without having an opinion on the subject of religion, much less so for anyone who had spent a lifetime working in the field of Middle Eastern Studies. Nöldeke, theologically a liberal, who was famous for his insight, once wrote: 3 I have little feeling for regulated Semitic godliness, and yet I know how infinitely important this is for the world, and how much it needs to be studied. A version of the work presented here...